Monday, March 23, 2009

Little Boots

(Photo: Tom Oxley)
Little Boots Kicks Ass

i was reading a post at regaling the masses about the South by Southwest (SXSW) (the yearly super mega media explosion in Austin, TX that allows you to see all kinds of up-and-coming unsigned bands, crowd favorites, Metallica performing at a large BBQ (kinda hilarious), and forums on new ways of communicating through whatever medium possible).

I checked out acts mentioned like Ebony Bones (myspace) (check out "We Know All About U" and let it build up, find some live performances on the web, it's insane!), the ridiculous charm, fashion sense and legs of the woman in Chairlift (they did the song featured when Apple rolled out the new ipod nano), Kid Cudi blowing people up when he added the Crookers remix to his performance of Day N Nite (featured here before), amongst others.

I came across a mention of Little Boots who apparently melted the heart of the Pfork reviewer, Tom Breihan:
"Her nervous between-song banter and goofy onstage dancing both completely won me over, but neither one competed with her songs. This lady knows how to put a tune together; every track is a deliriously catchy wub-wub dance-pop machine, none better than the set-closing monster single "Stuck on Repeat". She reminds me a bit of Cut Copy, a vaguely awkward and totally likable person making songs that build up and break down at the exact right moment, working a crowd until it's built up to total hands-in-air hysteria. She knows exactly what she's doing.

Toward the back of the venue, I saw Perez Hilton dumbing out with what sure looked like genuine joy, and it made me hate that guy just a little bit less."

That's a pretty big endorsement.

Little Boots is a 24 year-old lady from the UK whose chosen moniker does come from Caligula. She is a semi-self-made up-and-coming popstar that's been making the internets rounds for over a year now. She writes her own stuff using keyboards, synths, and now a Tenori-On (a ridiculously awesome synth machine that you'll see her use in the videos below), with a skill and ease that has made her very popular online.

She has been playing music for most of her life (she's 24) and had come into fame recently by performances at her house uploaded to youtube (Little Boots youtube). She does originals and covers and displays some pretty good pop chops, propelling her in youtube rankings and allowing her some publicity. A number of British media outlets named her a pop act to follow in 2009. Thus I did and was impressed.

She has a heartfelt love of pop music as you can see from her "funtimes" selection of covers and she can pull the tunes apart pretty well so that she puts her own signature on them with her keyboard and synth arrangements. Sometimes her little brother helps her with drums.

Her new album will hopefully drop by the middle of the year. (For the US) In the meantime there is a downloadable EP that's come out on emusic, iTunes, and AmazonMP3 (see details at the end).
As mentioned before, a huge single for her has been "Stuck on Repeat" (produced by the dude from Hot Chip) which to me sounds like all the wonderful electro bits of Kylie Minogue, Depeche Mode, and Saint Etienne blended together:
Listen here: Little Boots Myspace
and Live at SXSW 2009 or Live in Aberdeen

Another big song out is "Meddle" (the original version which you can also hear on her myspace page). A performance of this song in her room (see here) landed her on the front page of youtube. The producers of Later... with Jools Holland (preeminent UK music program) decided to put her on performing on a bill loaded with big name talent. What you get is this great and buzz-building performance that is less of the dancefloor but shows off her skills in a very effective way with a piano, Tenori-On, stylophone (what she uses a stylus on), and handclaps.

Little Boots "Meddle" live on Later... with Jools Holland

What finally possessed me to write this was seeing a youtube clip of her whipping out her Tenori-On and effortlessly doing a cover of Hot Chip's "Ready for the Floor". One of many excellent covers:
Little Boots "Ready for the Floor" (Hot Chip cover)

and for comparison if you didn't know, one of the best songs last year:
Hot Chip, "Ready for the Floor":

So, I like. Judging from whatever clippings I've amassed, she seems like a pretty cool person and I hope she gets some success and puts out her album soon.

Last Call with Carson Daly performance and interview via Perez Hilton

The FADER cover story

Pitchfork interview

BBC 6 Music Hub Session (Jan 2009)

MTV Spanking New Sessions

New York Magazine interview
Little Boots - Arecibo EP:

emusic: sample/buy (hint: you can get a trial membership and free downloads) (I recommend sticking with it. I'm a subscriber and it's an amazing and super affordable service if you enjoy indie music).

AmazonMP3: sample and buy here

iTunes: Little Boots - Arecibo - EP

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nowhearmeout: Where's Me Jumper?

Because content requires effort, I present another rehashed old Now Hear Me Out post of mine. More poignant because the group seems to have died. Enjoy!

"It's alright to say things can only get better, YOU haven't lost your
brand new sweater.."

Now, hear me out,

Sultans of Ping FC: "Where's Me Jumper?"

Back when I was a happy-go-lucky admin working at the Joslin Diabetes
Center, I got to listen to music at my desk at a pretty loud volume.
It was awesome. I would tune in to BBC's online station 6 Music. It has a good mix of indie-
ish"alternative" music, old and new. It was miles and miles (or
kilometers and kilometers) better than the soul-sucking mainstream
rock radio here. It also clued me in to songs that were classic tunes
for the UK indie pop crowd. The station helped to prepare me for
visiting Carolyn in London and sounding knowledgeable with the cool
kids at her school.

It was through 6 Music that I became aware of an obscure Irish group
from the 80s-90s called Sultans of Ping FC (their name seemingly a
brilliant play on the Dire Straits song "Sultans of Swing") and their
big 1992 underground hit "Where's Me Jumper?" It is a song about a man
that loses his jumper at the disco. You could dismiss it as a novelty
comedy single, but I think that it is just part of the rich history of
Irish/British indie pop.

Primer for Americans:
a jumper is a sweater. i did not know that.

This song always makes me smile. Especially when I imagine how the
video would look if I directed it. Particularly when the singer is
listing the individuals who would be "so, so angry" at him losing his

The song has managed to stay in people's minds to this day. A few
years ago a renegade art and culture movement in the Irish city of
Cork had called itself "Where's Me Culture?". The website is gone and
I don't know if it still exists, but there's a t-shirt.

Well, that's it for me today. I'm just going to click this button...
wait, what's that noise? Its... its... no, it can't be! aaaaaaaagh!